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TO: University Senate

FROM: Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

DATE: May 2, 2016

Search for the Next Dean of SBU's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS)

Dr. Minghua Zhang intends to step down from his role as Dean of Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) upon the completion of his current five-year term, effective June 30, 2016. Hence, we will soon be starting the search for a new Dean of SoMAS. Minghua was appointed Interim Dean of SoMAS, effective June 14, 2010, and was appointed as the School's Dean effective September 1, 2011. Minghua's long and distinguished history with Stony Brook University began in 1988 when he came here as a Postdoctoral Visiting Scientist. He then assumed an Assistant Professorship with SoMAS (then MSRC) in 1990. Minghua has served as Professor and Director of the Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres since 2001, and then Associate Dean with SoMAS since 2003. Minghua is also the author of over 110 papers and a book on climate science. Additionally, Minghua was one of the four distinguished atmospheric scientists from Stony Brook who served on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Former Vice President, Albert A. Gore.

As Dean, Minghua has worked effectively with the SoMAS faculty to strengthen the School in both breadth and depth. Under his leadership, SoMAS expanded into the new areas of Coastal Engineering/Ecosystem Management and Genomics after winning two interdisciplinary faculty cluster proposals. Minghua has worked tirelessly to improve and grow SoMAS with respect to its programs of education, research and fundraising. Furthermore, he played an instrumental role in establishing the New York State Resilience Institute of Storms and Emergencies (NYS RISE), a consortium co-led by Stony Brook University and New York University, with Columbia University, Cornell University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and CUNY as members. During his tenure, Minghua has also overseen the development of the SoMAS Strategic Plan.
I am thankful to Minghua for his distinguished record of administrative service to SoMAS and to the University. I am also pleased to announce that the following members of the Stony Brook University academic community have agreed to participate on the search committee for the next Dean of SoMAS:

  • Co-Chairs: Anne McElroy, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Professor;
  • Fotis Sotiropoulos, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dean and Professor of Civil Engineering
  • Jackie Collier, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Associate Professor
  • Brian Colle, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Professor
  • Nicholas Fisher, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research
  • Timothy Glotch, Department of Geosciences, Associate Professor
  • Kamazima Lwiza, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Associate Professor
  • Heidi Hutner, Sustainability Studies Program, Director and Associate Dean on Undergraduate Advising, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Stefanie Massucci, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Assistant Dean
  • Mark Wiggins, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Facilities Manager
  • Janet Nye, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Assistant Professor
  • Catherine Ziegler, SoMAS' Graduate Student Club, Vice President
  • Vani Nayyar, SOMAS’ Undergraduate Environmental Science Club, President
  • Judith Greiman, Chief Deputy to the President and Vice President for Community Relations
  • Andreas Koenig, College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Dean and Professor of Anthropology

Dr. Patricia Aceves Appointed Assistant Provost for Academic Assessment and Technology-Enhanced Pedagogy

Effective April 4, 2016, Dr. Patricia Aceves, currently the Director of the Faculty Center in Teaching, Learning and Technology has assumed the new role of Assistant Provost for Academic Assessment and Technology-Enhanced Pedagogy, leading the newly-branded Faculty Center for Teaching, Assessment and Digital Education. In this expanded role, Patricia will lead Stony Brook University’s new Office of Assessment as an integral part of the Faculty Center's work in supporting pedagogy, assessment of student learning and technology integration in our physical and virtual classrooms. Reporting jointly to the University’s Chief Information Officer and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Patricia will work collaboratively with faculty groups, departments, colleges and schools on assessment of the Stony Brook Curriculum and our academic programs, as well as on meeting Middle States accreditation requirements.

Patricia joined Stony Brook University in 2009, having previously spent ten years as Director of Distance Learning at St. Cloud State University. As Director of the Faculty Center, she has led a successful team in working with faculty and academic departments to enhance teaching, to encourage innovative pedagogies in disciplines across campus, as well as to assess and improve student learning outcomes. Since joining the University, her team has played a vital role in the expansion of online course development in undergraduate education, infusing ePortfolios across the curriculum, the introduction of online course evaluations and the new Mobile/Digital Now (MDN) Faculty Fellows iPad Initiative. Over 600 faculty attend learning events hosted by the Faculty Center each year, including the New Faculty Orientation, the Online Education Symposium, the Assessment Symposium and the Teaching and Learning Colloquium. Furthermore, in 2014, Patricia launched the University’s first Women’s Leadership Symposium.

Funded Proposals from SUNY’s Expanded Investment and Performance Fund

The SUNY Investment and Performance Fund was first established by an $18 million allocation in the 2015-16 New York State Budget. In an effort to grow the Fund and extend eligibility to its community colleges, SUNY also pooled from existing resources – the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Open SUNY, the Empire Innovation Program (EIP), and $55 million from the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program – to create a $100 million Expanded Investment and Performance Fund. All of the Investment and Performance Fund awards announced to date can be found online at All funding is designed to support commitments campuses have made in their individual Performance Improvement Plans, part of the SUNY Excels performance management system. In total, seven Stony Brook University proposals were funded, with SBU receiving $4,580,000 in total funding from SUNY’s Expanded Investment and Performance Fund, as follows:

  • Stony Brook University received three awards, totaling $1,950,000 in funding, through the Empire Innovation Program, which supports campus efforts to recruit the world’s most talented faculty researchers (proven track record of funded research) to SUNY. These scholars will drive innovation, enhance partnerships with business/industry, increase tech transfer, create opportunities for student research, and increase the competitiveness of professional/graduate education programs. The areas selected for funding are:
  • SBU Center for Frontiers in Nuclear Science ($650,000);
  • SBU IACS - Leadership in Extreme-Scale Computation and Data-Driven Discovery ($650,000); and
  • SBU Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics ($650,000).
  • OPEN SUNY Loan Program for SBU MBA in Innovation ($280,000)

The proposed online MBA with a concentration in Innovation builds on the foundation of Stony Brook University’s online education expertise, and aims to expand to a high-demand area, which will fill a missing specialization in the OPEN SUNY MBA offerings. The new online offerings will provide flexible schedules and outreach to a student population that otherwise would not be able to access the program. The program will offer a channel for career advancement, while targeting start-up communities and engaging resources available in the metropolitan tri-state area. Moreover, the proposed new program encompasses a new model for online graduate business education, based on sophisticated cooperation and competition between entrepreneurial students in a game. This project is a collaborative effort between SBU’s College of Business and the Shift Group, an online education company with substantial game development experience. The main role of the Shift Group is the development of an entrepreneurial game, which is the centerpiece of the capstone project for the online MBA track in Innovation. The intention is to appeal to the gaming generation and to make learning fun, engaging, and collaborative. It also provides a model for additional game-based courses in market research, new product development, and entrepreneurial finance, which will make up the core specialization courses of the MBA track in Innovation. We envision that our cutting-edge and innovative collaborations will create a powerful competitive and marketing advantage for the University and OPEN SUNY to build its student base.

  • SBU Educational Opportunity Program ($350,000)

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at Stony Brook University has been nationally recognized for its success in retaining and graduating academically and economically disadvantaged students. In addition to increasing the number of students served by the program, resources are needed for counseling, tutoring, direct aid and summer program costs to support this enrollment increase, as well as to improve services to more positively impact the academic performance, retention, and graduation rates of all EOP students at SBU. EOP student success at SBU would be accomplished through the implementation of the following five new initiatives:

  • EOP New Horizons Career Success Mentor Program : Connecting students with successful mentors in their fields will likely increase both retention and graduation, while also significantly increasing students’ success in their chosen fields of study. Accordingly, this Program will connect EOP sophomores with Stony Brook University faculty, professionals and alumni in their chosen fields.
  • Multi-Campus Post-Freshman Summer Research Program: The EOP at SBU seeks to increase the percentage of students within the SUNY system engaged in undergraduate research. The program will target 20 EOP students who will have completed their first year at a SUNY institution with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and have earned at least twenty-four credits. Students will be paired with a research mentor, with whom they will work for six weeks during the summer. At the end of the six weeks, a symposium will be held at which the students will present their research.
  • Post-Freshman Academic Success Program for EOP Students in Academic Jeopardy: In order to increase the percentage of EOP students who are retained to the second year, and who ultimately graduate in four years, the University will develop a post-freshman summer program for EOP students who have been deemed at-risk at the end of their freshman year. EOP staff will work collaboratively with the Career Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Dean of Students’ Office, and select faculty to provide fifteen hours of academic success programming over the six-week period to address these students’ barriers to success.
  • Summer Bridge Program for EOP Transfer Students from Suffolk Community College and Farmingdale State College: EOP students transferring from community colleges and technical colleges often enter Stony Brook University with limited preparation for the rigor and culture of a research university. To address these concerns, SBU’s EOP is developing a four-day, residential, summer bridge program for EOP students transferring from Farmingdale State College and Suffolk Community College.
  • Recruitment Initiative for Underrepresented Male Students: Like many competitive research universities, Stony Brook University has faced difficulty in its efforts to recruit, enroll and retain underrepresented male students. The EOP at SBU plans to pilot a comprehensive recruitment program for underrepresented males. The primary goal of this initiative is to increase the University’s presence in, and impact on, underserved communities in NY State by creating a pipeline from these communities to Stony Brook University.
  • SBU Success and Completion ($1,750,000)

Building on the Chancellor’s promise to increase completions, Stony Brook University is committed to creating an environment in which undergraduates expect to complete in four years and receive the necessary guidance and support to do so. This proposal is based on an integrated four-phase approach:

  • Develop a Culture of Completion: SBU will develop a multimodal intervention-based communication model for prospective students and parents, and continuing with our enrolled students, stress the importance and benefits of completing in four years. In so doing, we will create a culture of completion.
  • Unleash our Personnel: Expanding a successful pilot in 2014-15, faculty, staff, administrators, and retired faculty volunteers will be assigned to a cohort of students to follow. We will assign one advisor per five at-risk students, and provide the resources, release time, and training for these advisors to incent on-time completion.
  • Add Course Capacity to Expand Availability: We will reclaim space through a building renovation to build a high-tech, high-touch, learning and testing center. In so doing, we will reclaim a portion of 2,508 seats currently offline at peak class times, allowing us to add to class capacity. This is in addition to our existing effort to add additional capacity by building online versions of high-demand undergraduate courses.
  • Extend a Pilot “Finish in Four” Grant Program: The Finish in Four Fund initiated by President Stanley provided completion grants to students who entered in 2011 and had a clear path to graduation in four years, but had exhausted their financial aid. We have already invested $60,000 in 13 students and all crossed the finish line in four years.
  • SBU Increasing Access, Completion and Seamless Transfer ($250,000)

Stony Brook University received $250,000 of the $1 million in funding to SUNY’s four University Centers to fund a pioneering partnership dedicated to building common student learning outcomes and assessments focused on high-demand/high-impact gateway undergraduate courses that meet the needs of both native and transfer students, not only at the University Centers but also across all of SUNY. The intention is to leverage best-practice pedagogy, digitally-enhanced learning technology, and supplemental gateway digital materials while infusing the system with data-driven metrics that facilitate and assess student learning and promote scholarship of teaching and learning across our four campuses and, ultimately, system-wide.

New Stony Brook University Degree Programs Approved in Academic Year 2015-16

In addition to the 200 undergraduate and 140 graduate programs offered by Stony Brook University, the following three new degree programs were approved by SUNY and the NYS Department of Education in Academic Year 2015-16:

  • Biomedical Informatics (AGC/MS/PhD): Biomedical Informatics is an interdisciplinary field that studies and pursues the effective use of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem solving and decision-making. It is driven by efforts to improve human health. Graduates can expect careers in academia, research institutions, hospitals, industry, or government. The SBU Biomedical Informatics graduate program is located in the new Biomedical Informatics Department, dually housed in the School of Medicine and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Students may earn an Advanced Graduate Certificate, an M.S. or a PhD. The SBU Biomedical Informatics graduate program emphasizes the translation of knowledge into practical use in three areas of specialization:
  • Clinical Informatics-enhancing the quality and efficiency of clinical workflows;
  • Imaging Informatics-integrative analysis and management of biomedical images, and
  • Translational Bioinformatics–application of informatics methods to advance patient related biomedical research, from clinical genomics to population health.
  • Combined JD/MBA between Touro College Law Center and SBU’s College of Business: The purpose of this combined degree program is to prepare students to better understand and succeed in career fields where knowledge of both law and business are essential. The JD/MBA program combines the 88-credit JD Degree from Touro Law with the 48-credit MBA Degree from the College of Business. It includes 18 credits (nine from each school) of overlap, which reduces the total number of credits in the joint program to 118 credits. To achieve this overlap, all students in the program would be required to be in the College of Business’ Innovation or Health Systems Management concentrations.
  • Media, Art, Culture, and Technology Advanced Graduate Certificate: The Graduate Certificate Program in Media, Art, Culture, and Technology (MACT) offers graduate students an interdisciplinary grounding in the historical and theoretical study of media, art, culture, and technology. The MACT graduate certificate is designed to complement a graduate student’s primary degree by supporting research that traverses traditional academic methods and objects of inquiry in the humanities. Administered by Department of Art, the MACT graduate certificate is open to students enrolled in any of Stony Brook University’s Ph.D., D.M.A., M.A., M.F.A, and M.M. programs. The Certificate will be awarded upon completion of 15-credits, which may also be counted toward degree requirements in the student’s home department.

Annual Undergraduate Research, Education and Creative Activities (URECA) Program

On April 27, 2016, we celebrated the research and creative activities of students working with SBU faculty mentors in all disciplines. This celebration was a testament to how much research collaboration between our students and faculty has really grown. In 1997, the URECA annual symposium featured 14 student presentations. That year, the University was one of ten nationwide to receive the RAIRE grant from the NSF in Recognition of Achievement in Integrating Research and Education. This was the beginning of the URECA Celebration tradition, which continues to grow every year. In 2001, there were about 70 posters displayed. This year, we had over 200 posters, involving more than 300 students. The undergraduate students who exhibited posters and projects at the 2016 URECA Celebration represent some of the best students at Stony Brook. Many have received funding support from URECA, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Battelle for work at BNL, the Beckman Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. URECA is a program within the Office of the Provost/Division of Undergraduate Education and is funded in part by the Simons Foundation.

Stony Brook University’s HeForShe Campaign for Gender Equality

Stony Brook is proud to be one of ten universities, globally, to support the United Nation’s goal of gender equality for all people. Through our participation in the HeForShe Campaign for Gender Equality, SBU has made specific commitments that we have been working on for the past year. For example, we recently hosted a very successful gathering of SUNY campuses to focus on how they can bring the issue of gender equality to their schools. Furthermore, all new first time-full time students who began in fall 2015 participated in specific programs in the First Year Seminars that focused on the issues of gender and equality. We also asked the SBU faculty to take a few minutes in their classes during the week of April 25, 2016 to raise the issue of gender, such as on how gender interacts with what they are teaching, a general discussion of gender inequality and what we can all do to address it or how to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence on our university campuses today. On April 27, 2016, students also had the chance to Speak Out for Gender Equality from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on the Staller steps. For additional information on Stony Brook University’s HeForShe Campaign, please contact Dr. Charles Robbins, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

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